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Celebrating the 100th Birthday of a Loyal Community Servant
Written by Sadie Butcher, Correspondent
2018-06-21

            On Sunday, June 17, Ms. Lila K. Bittenbender turned one hundred years young and credits reaching the milestone to a healthy lifestyle and lots of multivitamins.

Lila Bittenbender's family members at her party: left to 

right, Merill Yorgey, Barbra Stoneback, Rhonda and Dr.

Raymond Stoneback, Donna Yorgey.

            A birthday celebration was held at Frederick Living Retirement Community, where she currently resides. 

            As part of the celebration, Lila was presented with a Senate Resolution honoring her service from State Senator Bob Mensch (24) and a Citation from Perkiomen Post #184 for her long membership in organization

            Lila, a 1936 Pennsburg High School graduate, received a Bachelor of 

Lila Bittenbender, serving in the

U.S. Army during WWII.

Science degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a registered nurse diploma from Allentown General Hospital in 1940. She also attended the U.S. Army Medical Service School and the Command-General Staff College.

            In July, 1941, she joined the U.S. Army Corps and was assigned to Camp Polk, La. Two years after, she was transferred to Camp Livingston, La., to join the 19th General Hospital unit on overseas duty.

            Ms. Bittenbender served in England and Scotland before her unit crossed the English Channel soon after the events of D Day in August, 1944, where they became an evacuation hospital near LeMans, France. In October, 1945 she returned to the United States, and was honorably discharged as a captain in January, 1946. 

            She served for brief periods as a staff member at Allentown General 

Lila Bittenbender, former Army Off-

icer, Nurse, and Upper Perkiomen 

Valley Communty servant, delebra-

ted her 100th birthday at a party last

Saturday.

Hospital, the Montgomery County Community Home, and Quakertown Community Hospital, after which she accepted the position of community nurse for the Upper Perkiomen Valley in August, 1946.

            As a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Corps, she was granted a leave of absence in January, 1951 when she was recalled to active duty on a tour that was meant to last into January, 1956. During that time, she served at multiple veterans' hospitals at Fort Eustis, Va., and Camp Pickett, Va., and spent two years in Puerto Rico attached to Rodriguez Army Hospital in its capital of San Juan.

            After returning to the nurse agency, she held onto her army reserve commission and was recognized for 30 years of service in 1971. She spent 9-1/2 years on active duty, including two years overseas During World War II and one year in Puerto Rico during the Korean War.

            Throughout her service, she earned the ranks of lieutenant, captain, and ended her military career as a colonel.

            Ms. Bittenbender was active in the community, receiving the Good Deeds Award from the Perkiomen Valley Lions Club in 1949 and was an active member of the New Goshenhoppen United Church of Christ.

            She took over the duties as the Upper Perkiomen Valley Community Nurse in 1946.  She served the Upper Perkiomen Valley Nurse Agency as Executive Director and retired in 1977 after serving the organization for 31 years.

            She played a prominent part in the organization of the Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance Association, and served the organization as board member, nurse attendant, call taker, and any other duty the group required in its formulate years.

            Through the years, she advocated the needs of special teachers and instructions for mentally and physically challenged children, and a greater need for interest among the people in the problems of the local school boards with the formation of more Parent-Teacher associations.        The needs of the community over the last century were many.  Lila Bittenbender was a community advocate who worked to successfully address many of them.


 

 

 

 

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